Happy Birthday IrisMay! I hope you understand how out of my element I am with this – but for you, I figured I'd give it a try!
Many thanks to TraSan for pushing, betaing and encouraging! All mistakes are mine alone!
They had just enough money for some burgers and beers, but a bed for the night was another issue.
That meant it was time for some hustling.
Dean drove the Impala into a parking space near the back of the lot, partially shrouded in darkness. The car was conspicuous enough as it was, so any additional cloaking was always good. The Winchesters climbed out of the vehicle announcing their presence to the cool night air with the loud squeak of the doors.
The tavern they'd picked was obviously a biker bar if the lot was any indication. Several people were milling about on the blacktop: bikers checking their wheels, lovers checking for missing pieces of clothing.
"See that, Sammy? That's how it's done." Dean elbowed Sam's midriff, pointing to two people steaming up the windows of their car. "Maybe you should skip the pool game and catch some pointers from them!"
Dean's head was turning sideways, watching the couple do yoga tricks in the back seat of the Honda. He cocked his eyebrows and moved in their general direction, only to be stopped by Sam's arm around his chest.
"I think they want some privacy, Dean," Sam added seeming to blush a little at the noises and motion of the car, walking a little quicker to the entrance.
"If they wanted privacy, they should've gotten a room." Dean continued to walk towards the front door, turning back every once in a while to see whatever acrobatics they were performing. "Wow! I've never thought of that one before! Did you see the way she put her leg around…"
"I got it. Can we just go, please?" Sam dragged Dean towards the brightly lit neon green and orange lettering. The sign displayed The Twisted Spoke, sans "E," giving Dean slight pause before acquiescing into the establishment.
The place was hopping – piercing heavy metal music blared, the speakers so loud the vibrations pushed the clouds of smoke around in the room. A large, blood red Harley Davidson was mounted over the bar, the pulsing lightshow flickering off the spokes in the wheels, turning slightly with an imaginary breeze.
On the other end of the bar, several men counted off and did shots of something that could only be nasty. Big, burly men didn't do Pina Colada.
The pool tables were back in the far corner. Beer signs hung everywhere and posters of half-dressed women were plastered wherever there was free space. Dean took the lead, slithering through the machismo in the room, brushing leather on leather as they pushed back towards the game.
"Are you sure this is such a good idea," Sam shouted, trying to get through to Dean over the insane volume of the bar.
Dean watched as his brother pointed to their surroundings, then to various people in the bar, following up with a finger jabbing at his brain, tapping a few times to make his point.
They'd been together a long time, and Dean knew that Sam was wondering if they should stay, casing the joint for exits and possible threats. But they were desperate and sleeping in the backseat of the Impala was not an option – not after their last job. They'd both taken some pretty hard knocks and a hot shower and lumpy mattress would do them both wonders.
Nope, they were staying.
Dean ambled to the nearest pool table, watching the game with interest. He'd learned from the best how to read people; knew who would be an easy mark and who was a skilled threat. Over to his left, Sam watched a different game, following the same agenda. Nuances in body language let the other know whether it was the right time to break into a game.
Sam struck first; his competitor long and lean with slicked back strands of auburn hair. He wore a black leather vest on flesh and a tattoo of a large black and white skeleton with a vibrant heart in the middle of its ribcage was prominently displayed on his muscled arm. A name was etched into the center, thorns and vines engulfing it and winding in and out of the stark bones. The most stunning piece, however, was the knife sticking out of the side of the heart, dripping black blood to the imaginary ground.
"Nice Tat," Sam mouthed and pointed to the man's shooting arm, trying to have conversation over the music.
The man obviously understood, smiling back with a set of surprisingly intact teeth. Other than the artwork, there were many scars across his arms and chest; battle wounds of times well fought.
The man broke first, claiming stripes.
Tat's girl was in the corner, smoking like a chimney and whittling away at her fingernails like a boy scout does a stick. Her cleavage was bulbous, spilling out from the tiny pink almost top she was wearing. Fake blonde hair with dark roots cascaded down her back. Tight leather pants – apparently the dress code here – were practically painted on with a set of 4 inch stilettos to boot. She laughed effortlessly at the people around her, oblivious to a word they were saying. Whatever she was drinking was hard as she had several shot glasses around her table. She was no wilting flower and held it well.
Dean watched the play, calculating the same way that Sam was at the other table. Lose the first game, beg for a second. Win that, double or nothing. Lather, rinse, repeat. He looked over to see that Sam had just lost the first game, so the con had begun.
That's when things got…weird.
Tat's girl had apparently taken a liking to Dean, giving him eyes and licking the rim of the shot glass so seductively that Dean had to turn away for fear of, well, letting her know how he felt about foreplay like that. He could feel her staring through him, watching every move and undressing him with her thoughts. And normally, that would be right up his alley, but several of the other players had seen Sam walk in with Dean, putting his brother in danger if something went awry. Carefully, he made his way further from the girl and closer to Sam's game, watching with interest.
Sam, following formula, won the second game, upping the challenge to double or nothing. Dean knew if he could get through two more games or so, they'd have enough to be comfortable for the next few days. He would just have to avoid Barbie for a little while longer.
"Hi!" the bright pink lips mouthed as she ran her fingers down Dean's chest, angling dangerously above the belt. She moistened her lips slowly, arching her eyebrows as her tongue made the corners of her mouth.
Instantly, Dean knew he was in trouble.
He tried to sidestep Sex on a Stick with a polite smile but she raised her knee through Dean's inner thigh, grazing her toes along his calf.
Tat's eyes bulged as he watched his girl make moves on Dean, freaking Dean out even further. He threw his hands up in mock surrender, trying to show the man that he wasn't the one doing the advancing, but it didn't seem to matter.
Dean and Sam exchanged panicked glances knowing that this was going to have to be cut short. He watched Sam say something to Tat, but whatever he'd heard was not what Sam had intended. In the next moment, the man had Sam in a headlock, forcing him up and away.
And Dean went crazy.
"Get the fuck away from my brother you barracuda!" Dean shouted, knowing the words were drowned out by the destruction of sound in the bar. He made towards him, stomping through and splitting the crowd, effectively getting closer.
The entire bar was watching now; the music turned to a low roar so shouts could be heard. A circle started to pan out into a coliseum-type format, filling in the gaps with oohs and aahs.
Tat smiled an evil glint in his eye. "Your brother? You guys scamming? We don't like cheats around here." His grip on Sam's throat grew tighter as Sam started to fish lip to get oxygen into his lungs.
Dean could see that Sam was not doing well so he decided a different approach.
"No, dude, just looking for a friendly game. No harm, no foul. Keep the money. Come on, Sam, let's go."
But Tat wasn't having it. He'd obviously seen his girl go after Dean like an all-you-can-eat steak dinner and that wasn't sitting well with him.
"Oh, somethin's foul here. I think the both of ya deserve a lesson." And out of nowhere, the man pulled a gun, pointing it right at Sam's temple.
"Hey, hey, hey, no need to get excited here. This is just a misunderstanding. Just put the gun down and no one has to get hurt." Dean looked to Sam who was getting a bit glassy. This wasn't the first time they'd run into trouble and Sam knew the drill – he was still aware enough for that.
Dean continued to keep his hands within the eye line of the predator, giving the man the impression that he was cooperating. But as everything unfolded, Dean's free hands would swoop in so quickly the man wouldn't have a clue what'd hit him. That was the plan at least.
Sam held on, tiptoeing his boots to the floor to garner any strength he could get, and Dean knew he was ready. Waiting for the silent count he took another step closer.
"So, are we goin' to end this as gentlemen or as dicks, because I've met enough dicks to last me a lifetime."
With that, Sam punched the man's gut with all his meager strength, distracting long enough to pound on his foot and get him to release the grip on Sam's neck. Tat's arm went arcing across the room, gun in tow - bodies ducking at a possible discharge of the weapon. Dean made it to Sam's side in a split second, grabbing Tat's arm and swinging it away from his brother.
It was a common assumption in a bar brawl that the local's friends would pile on but Dean was more than a little surprised when no one came to his aid.
"I didn't want it to come to this," Dean said, trying to garner the strength to grab the gun. "But now you've pissed me off."
The ring of the gun going off hung in the air; in a split second, everything changed.
Screams were played out in staccato notes around the room like a symphony, and chaos enveloped the crowd. The real music stopped and the lights came on, people heading for the few exits they could find. The circle around the men had dwindled to almost nothing.
And there, on the floor, was Dean.
"Dean!" Sam croaked out, falling to the ground, hands desperate to feel for the damage inflicted by the gun.
"'Sokay, Sammy. Just a flesh wound," Dean ground out, pawing at his left side. "Grazed me. I'll be fine."
Tat stood over them, gun slack from his arm. No regret or concern, just indifference at the scene before him.
"I told you, we don't like cheats around here. You're lucky I didn't kill you." The man turned smugly from the brothers tucking the gun in his back waistband.
That's when Dean felt the whole room shift.
Sam rose, red-faced and stiff, hovering protectively over Dean. He'd just gotten Sam out of trouble, he didn't want him to step back into it.
But it was lost on Sam. Dean knew that stance - tight shoulders, firm posture and a big exhale for preparation - and if he felt the wound was more life-threatening, he'd have tried harder to stop him.
"Hey!" Sam shouted, pulling the man's attention back his way. Tat turned slowly, reaching for the back of his pants but Sam was quicker.
With almost no warning, Sam plowed into him, head into Tat's ribcage, forcing him over the pool table with a crack. Knowing the gun was still a real threat, Sam took the briefly-stunned man and yanked on his arm, finding his hand empty. Rage propelled Sam forward as he flipped the man over, grabbing the weapon from his backside, checking the safety, and tossing it to the floor near Dean.
Dean watched as his mammoth brother slipped into combat mode, his height used to his advantage. The blood was flowing freely from Dean's side, but he hadn't lied when he'd told Sam it was only a flesh would. It hurt like hell and if they didn't get out of there soon it would be a problem, but he knew Sam needed to take care of this.
Now on even ground, Sam pulled the man upright again by the vest, towering over him. His eyes held daggers as the anger pumped through his veins; any sign of the strangulation from minutes earlier flushed out of his system as the adrenaline pumped through. He was strong and confident, hackles raised in defense.
"You shot my brother because you don't have a leash for your girlfriend." The statement followed a swift right to the jaw, snapping Tat's head to the side. Sam took the stunned man and wrapped his arm around his back, slamming him, again, into the pool table, hard. Blood leaked from his nose and mouth onto the kelly green felt.
Dean pulled himself from the ground, making his way to the fracas. He knew his brother could take care of himself but he was worried about retaliation, or worse – Cops. Sam could lose sight of the situation when it came to protecting his brother. That trait ran in the family.
Sam's head snapped in the direction of Dean, scanning him over like the Terminator for additional injuries, stopping on his side that now had a soaked shirt draped in crimson.
Dean nodded, pressing his hand to his side. "I'm ready to get outta here though."
Sam turned back to his quarry only to see the cue ball wrapped in Tat's fist aiming for his head.
But there was no stopping Sam now, not when he needed to get Dean out and taken care of. The angling fist was met by Sam's strength so quickly he was able to maneuver back around and slam it into Tat's head, effectively taking him out with his own weapon.
"Nice," Dean praised, stumbling a little as he stepped forward. "Asshole, corner pocket!"
Sam snorted, taking a deep breath to steady himself and turning back towards Dean.
"Can you walk?" Sam joined him, wrapping his right arm over Dean's shoulder and taking most of his weight. He threw a last glance at Tat splayed on the table, the skeletal tattoo covered by the small piece of leather from the vest – apparently ripped in the fray.
As they turned from the table, Dean noticed the pile of cash still perched on the edge. "Can't believe no one took it in the cacophony."
"Cacophony? Wow! Well, he did say they didn't like cheats here. Guess that's true." And with that Sam grabbed the wad and shoved it in his pocket finding the path clear to the door.
Dean woke to pounding in his head. He scrubbed a hand down his stubbled face, smelling his breath in his hand. He jumped at the horror of the smell only to unleash a hot throbbing in his side.
His hand reached down to the pain finding a rectangular bandage. Then it came back to him.
Before he thought further, a cup of coffee was under his nose – and not that cheap stuff in the motel rooms. Real coffee.
"I went out this morning figuring you'd rather have the real stuff," Sam said, almost reading Dean's mind. "I got you a couple donuts too. There's a bakery not far from here and the stuff looked amazing. Plus, they had a coffee bar, so I figured – jackpot!"
Dean smiled at the Mother Hen in Sam doing his own assessment of his brother. Sam's neck had a deep bruise from the scuffle but certainly nothing life threatening. Dean didn't remember getting into the car, finding a room or being undressed by Sam but he knew that everything was alright.
Sam sat next to Dean helping him up carefully so he could gorge himself on the donuts. Dean figured he'd been forced to swallow some painkillers during the night since he wasn't ready to roll back over and play opossum.
"Coupla stitches. I flushed it out and didn't see any debris so you should be alright. Just need a few days to recuperate." Sam bit into a jelly donut hungrily, raspberry seeds decorating the side of his lips. He quickly washed it down with a huge gulp of coffee, finishing with a satisfying "Ahh."
"So, I'll live?" Dean sniffed the donut like a Labrador then went full in for the kill, eliciting the same reaction to the apple crueler.
Dean watched as Sam got up again, heading over to the table. The laptop was open; clearly Sam had played online for a while. There was a brown wallet next to it and Dean crunched his brow at the foreign object.
"What's that?" He indicated with his head, pointing.
"Oh, this? It's Slick's wallet. Grabbed it after I got the gun." He fingered the pouch, pulling out various credit cards and sundry items. "He paid for the room, a tank of gas and breakfast but we probably can't get much more on it. Figure we should probably head out before they catch on – if you're feeling up to it."
Dean smiled, dough still plastered on his teeth from the last bite. "You're ballsy, I'll give you that!" he added, sipping the fresh coffee before him.
"Learned from the best." He tossed the wallet at Dean, shutting down his laptop and starting to pack. "You think you can make it?"
Dean carefully pulled his legs over the side of the bed, wincing at the pull on his flesh. It hurt but they'd had worse. "Yeah, I can go. I just need to use the facilities." Clad only in his boxers and t-shirt, he stumbled to the bathroom and closed the door.
Dean emerged, dressed in sweat pants and a loose shirt. He padded back to the bed sitting briefly as he tried to decide how to get his shoes on.
"Slip into these then you don't have to bend," Sam said giving him a pair of old gym shoes they'd kept in the car. "We can get you more comfortable at our next stop."
Nodding, Dean slid his feet into the shoes. Sam watched as he did as he was told, swinging their bags over his shoulder, leaving through the propped open door.
While his brother was away, Dean looked at the wallet on the bed. It was too bad that the authorities were probably on the case by now because this guy was loaded. Several credit cards, memberships and a wad of cash were stuffed inside, along with a condom and some dental floss. This would keep them going for a while.
"Ready?" Sam asked having effectively cleaned out the room. He threw the keys to the room on the table and headed for Dean, ready to assist him to the car.
"I got it," Dean answered, shooing his brother away, trying to show his own machismo after last night. He grabbed the other donut, the cup of coffee and wallet and headed out the door.
Dean saw Sam head to the driver's side. He was ready to squawk but thought better of it. It was alright to be looked after every once in a while and there was no one better to do it than Sammy.
I hope you liked it, IrisMay! Hurt!Dean isn't exactly my specialty (not like I have a specialty) but I'm telling you all right now – no more birthdays! You guys are killing me! I don't power write! :D
I hope it was a wonderful day, you deserve it!
Thanks for reading!